THE INTERN DIARIES: Parent Alert! 2014

Here's a thought! If you have children within a year or two of graduating college, or if you're a year out from that diploma, ditch those ideas of "spending the summer abroad" or wind-surfing the summer away on the Coast  if you want to be on the short list for that coveted job after graduation.

Hard to believe SL's original post for the first of many Intern Diaries was a short 4 years ago! And even harder to believe...the streets are just as tough to pound for new grads seeking a job as they were in 2010! What's wrong with this picture?

Rather than rant rampantly over the latest woeful employment stats, SL's sharing the latest research from some really smart econ profs, John Nunley and Adam Pugh (University of Wisconsin La Crosse); Nicholas Romero (University of Pennsylvania) and Richard Seals (Auburn U). They make a brilliant case for banning beach bum syndrome (or similar thoughts for the summer).

They created 9,400 fake resumes, sent them off to more than 2,000 online job posts across the country, with each resume doctored up to indicate "grads" had been out for 3 years prior, and had held only one job. Sad news: 5 out of 6 heard zip! Nadda! Not a word from the employers! But for the mere 17 percent who did get called...and this just blew Miss SL's glasses off...majors didn't matter! Higher GPAs didn't matter!

What did?

A SUMMER INTERNSHIP in the field they were applying. And this is for the "faux applicants" who were 3 years out of college! Imagine what that means for real graduates hitting the streets next summer?

The net net...whether you're paid peanuts or nothing at all, an internship in your field of dreams pays off. The research geeks aren't sure exactly why, but they're betting that if you're applying for a bank job, and you spent a summer at the teller's window, you might just be a little smarter than the other guy or gal applying for that same bank position after graduation. One with real benefits and a nice paycheck. (Hint: those bucks might just go toward being a beach bum for a week or hitting Paris on your paid vacay!)

As one of those employers, looking at real resumes from real recent grads, SL picked the candidate with the summer internship in PR, newspapers, radio, TV or marketing over the pretty well-traveled applicant whose resume was sadly sans an internship in her field. This spexed-out former employer says "Amen, Professors!" The research is solid.

Want to know more about what Profs Nunly, Pugh, Romero and Seals found? Read the Wall Street Journal, Weekend Edition, May 17-18, 2014, "How Summer Can Change Your Future."

Good luck on getting a spex-tacular internship this summer! And if your BFF says, 'Let's back-pack through Europe this summer on mummy and daddy's dime," be strong. Just say "No, I'm interning."



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